The basics of TORO

In Legal Lines, February 20205 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 24, 2020

Did you know that the police must seize and impound your vehicle for 28 days in certain circumstances? To give you an example, this can happen if you have lost your licence and should not be driving due to disqualification, revocation or suspension. Accordingly, vehicle owners have an obligation to ensure that only licensed drivers use their vehicles. This is particularly essential for employers who need to be able to check that their employees hold a valid driver‘s licence. That is where the Transport Operator Register Online (TORO) comes in handy. This is a free, independent, internetbased resource available to transport service licence holders that enables them to check that only licensed drivers are driving company vehicles.

What is TORO?
Driver Check allows employers and others to register drivers for a small fee and then to receive notification should the status of those drivers‘ licences change. By contrast, TORO is a secure system that requires users to enter into an agreement with the NZ Transport Agency and obtain their drivers‘ consent to register them on the system. Transport operators who are currently using Driver Check can transfer to TORO but will need to agree to the new terms and conditions, as well as obtaining the prior consent of the drivers who they intend to register.

What information does TORO provide?
Once registered on the system, employers will be able to receive email notification of:
• driver licence status changes such as disqualification or suspension;
• accumulation of 50 demerit points;
• accumulation of 100 demerit points (at which time suspension proceedings will have commenced);
• warning of the expiry of a passenger endorsement;
• alerts that medical conditions may apply.

The standard enquiries about which licence classes and endorsements a driver holds can also be obtained and transport operators will have the ability to maintain and view their own company list of drivers, adding new drivers and removing any drivers who are no longer associated with the business. When adding a driver to the company‘s register, you will not be advised what the status is at that time, so it is recommended that you complete a driver enquiry at the same time, so that you can see the status of the licence. If you fail to do so and the driver is currently disqualified or suspended from driving, then you will not receive a notification about their disqualification or suspension because their driver licence status has not changed since you added them.

When will I be notified of a change in licence status?
TORO can only notify companies when a change happens in the Driver Licence Register. A report is run each morning with the changes that occurred the previous day and overnight in the Driver Licence register. It is important to note that it can take a couple of days from when the driver is served with a demerit point suspension notice to when the change happens in the Licence Register. With the exception of 5pm to midnight every Saturday (when system maintenance is underway) the system will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During the maintenance time period, the system may be available, but service will not be guaranteed during this time. If for any reason the system is down or unavailable, and you wish to make an enquiry, you may phone the Transport Registry Centre (06) 953 7027 during standard business hours.

Please note that this article is not a substitute for legal advice and if you have a particular matter that needs to be addressed, you should consult with a lawyer. Danielle Beston is a barrister who specialises in transport law and she can be contacted on (09) 377 1080 or 021 326 642.